Teens Synthetic Marijuana Use is Down, While Marijuana Use is on the Rise


Synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice, is labeled as potpourri, incense, or an herbal smoking blend and is sold over-the-counter. As stated by The American Association of Poison Control Centers the chemical mix is marketed as a “legal high” that can cause brutal side effects such as seizures, anxiety, vomiting, and hallucinations. Teens, afraid of the side-effects, have begun smoking the real thing at a higher rate than before. When asked in a survey, by USA Today, 11% of  high school seniors admitted to using synthetic marijuana in 2012, while only 8% admitted to using in 2013. Experts believe that rate will slightly decline in 2014. When asked about Marijuana, around 1 in 15 high school seniors admitted to smoking it daily, and 60% of the 12th graders viewed the drug as “harmless” and “safe.”

When asked by USA Today about the rise in marijuana use The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) director, Nora Volkow, said, “The children whose experimentation leads to regular use are setting themselves up for declines in IQ and diminished ability for success in life.”  In comparison, Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance answered the same question in saying,”Marijuana’s popularity varies over the years for many reasons, but it’s important to keep in mind that marijuana pales in comparison to alcohol, cigarettes, inhalants and pharmaceutical drugs in terms of dangers to young people.” Nadelmann is in favor of marijuana legalization.